The Humans of smrtPhone

Our “smrtie of the Month” is responsible for building the new features and functionality that you love in the product: our fab front end developer, Tibi Barabas!


Tibor Barabas aka “Tibi”

Title / Role in the Company

I work on the development team. My official title is Front End Developer. I do all kinds of stuff related to building the product, mostly working on Roadmap items and new features. I enjoy working on the features and, in the process, I learn a lot about the system. 

How long have you worked for smrtPhone?

About a year and two months.

What’s your background? 

I started learning software development while working at a factory. It was a small sized factory and my job was to oversee the functioning of production lines. I had to make sure everything was running and if a machine stopped, check why and call in the maintenance team to fix it. 

After being there a while, I realized that many parts of my job could be done more efficiently if they were automated by digital tools. I went to my managers and suggested this idea, to start using new tools to improve efficiency.  They didn’t turn me down, but they basically told me that I was free to build my own tools if I wanted. So, I did.  

I taught myself by researching and practicing. It helps when you have an idea in mind of what you want to build, and then it’s easier to find the information you need to be able to build it. 

As time went on, there were some challenges and limitations to being self-taught. Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to learn programming in a more formal sense, so I went to school for it. 

For me, the exciting part of development is building stuff.  You have a vision, make a plan, and bring it to life. 

Tibi, smrtPhone's Front End Developer, sitting on a grass

What was your first job? 

After finishing high school, I thought it would be interesting to move somewhere else and experience a different culture. I chose Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. It was kind of a random choice, but it seemed like a cool place to be and English is common, so it is easy to live there without learning Dutch. 

I worked at a call center while I was there. My job was to call business executives and ask about their television viewing habits. It was kind of stressful. Most of the time the people that you’re calling don’t want to talk to you. You’re bothering them, but it’s your job so you have to do it. 

Even though I didn’t love the job, being in Rotterdam was a good time. It was a period of self development and exploration, seeing how things were in places other than my hometown. 

What do you like about working for smrtPhone? 

Working for smrtPhone is how working for a company should be. It’s how you’d imagine you think things should be.  The team is great. Everyone is super supportive and responsive. That is one of the most important things. It’s really about the people. 

And then there’s the factor of trust. People really trust each other here. As an individual, that really comes through and it creates a sense of mutual respect.

Also, there is a sense of freedom and autonomy, along with responsibility. It makes you want to contribute and deliver. 

Describe smrtPhone in 3 words. 




Is there a particular moment/project at smrtPhone that stands out and makes you feel proud?  

Like I said, I mostly focus on new features and Roadmap items. The latest one that I worked on is the new reporting section that will be going live soon. Even though I’m still doing some polishing, I’m quite satisfied with how it came out. 

It is really important to me that the features are just right. It goes beyond just having the feature working properly. The code needs to work properly behind the scenes, and be readable and maintainable. When all of these aspects come together and work out – that’s when I’m happy. 

Tibi Barabas with his dog Mori

What do you like to do in your free time? 

Motorcycling is a big thing. Specifically, motorcycling with Maria [smrtPhone UX designer and Tibi’s partner.] I like to ride off-road as much as possible. Riding on pavement is fine and helps you go long distances, but off-road is my favorite thing. 

It’s also a bit risky, going off-road, because it is a heavy bike. If the terrain is too rough, you might get stuck. But, it hasn’t happened yet!  

I also like to play with our dog, Mori, who still has a lot of puppy energy. Big dog energy in a small dog body. 

In the winter, I snowboard, but I haven’t done that a lot in the past two years or so. The winters haven’t been as good. So I’ve recently rekindled my joy for video games, thanks to Baldur’s Gate. 

Name something that is on your “bucket list”

Definitely more off-road time, but on a larger scale. Maria and I would like to do the Trans-Euro Trail, the Trans-Africa trail and travel to Asia by motorcycle. It’s not something you just go out and do, it would take a lot of preparation. I’ve read up about it on forums, and people take a long time to prepare for a journey like that. 

What is a fun fact people might not know about you? 

I have some basic electrician skills. I’m comfortable with wiring a lightbulb without getting zapped.